Welcome to JKs Rough String Ranch

Welcome to the Rough String, and thanks for stoppin' by!! Grab a hot cup of coffee and sit a spell!
10/22/18 You will see a name change on the blog. Lots of things have changed in my life in the past few years, and I feel compelled to share my story.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Gatherin' Time

We spent the day gatherin' then sortin' then trailin' cow/calf pairs for our neighbors on Sunday. I can't rope worth a darn (yet), so this is a lot of fun for me. My Man got to help too since it was on the weekend...he probably had way more fun than I did 'cause he actually got to work his horse...I just took photos!

Oasis in the Desert
This is the Davies Ranch on the backside of our hill. It reminds me of the saying "Oasis in the Desert."

My Man on Whiskey and myself on Colt took out at our back gate at 7:45 AM onto the BLM. My Man went east and I went west (of course the trusty "wannabe" cow dog Bella Jo followed me along). Our job was to gather up everything from the north end of the allotment and push them south. All the other riders came in from the SE and SW and pushed those cows north and we all met in the middle to sort out the Temple's herd from the Opie's herd. Then we helped Temples drive their cows back to the home place.

Gatherin' Pairs
Bella Jo actually started to think about herding cows! She was watching Ty's dogs and made a couple of moves herself...maybe there's hope yet for her!

I took a BUNCH of photos and decided to do a video...hope you enjoy it~

It's only Monday...have a great week!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

An Afternoon in the Field

~It's ill-mannered to ask a cowboy his name until he says howdy first.~
~Mary Rose 1875~

I can always find something to blog about...in fact I have a list (I do a lot of lists because of all my gray hair). But, it's much more fun for me to have photos! So, off to the alfalfa field to move wheel lines...

What a Lil' Water Will Do
Isn't it amazing what a lil' bit of water will do in the desert?

Draining the Pipes
Some of the drains stick, so I kick them open...and have to wait for them to drain.

Alfalfa Bloom
While waiting...there's lots of stuff to photograph...like an Alfalfa bloom...

Enjoying the Summer
...or some of the hundreds of birds hanging around...

Colt is Watching the Neighbor's Horses
...or Colt, who is intently watching the neighbor's horses running in their field...

Hay!! I Can't See!!
...hey...what's this??? It's Cindy Sue!!    "A lil' girl like me could get lost in here!"

I AM the RattieRanchDog!
"But, they don't call me Rattie Ranch Dog for nothin'!!"

Hope everyone has a GREAT weekend!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

~They tell me I'm sassy, but they don't know the real me.~
~Lucille Boggs 1878~


Lil' Pleasures in Life

Get more Wordless HERE!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Feelin' Like Fall

~A woman's skin doesn't take to weather well.
She can get wrinkled by a hard day's work in the sun.~
~Frances Wright 1900~

It was bad enough when the horses started shedding their summer coats a few weeks ago...yesterday morning there was ice on the alfalfa under the wheel lines! We couldn't move (or turn off the water) until the ice melted. If you do, the leaves will turn black...sort of odd, but that's how it works. So, I had to wait until 8 AM for the ice to melt.

But the good news is that our 3rd cutting alfalfa is up past our knees and lookin' great! Hopefully we'll get better tonnage with this cutting than the first two...we can definitely use it! Both first and second cuttings are sold too...Amen!

Today, it's supposed to be 88 degrees and tomorrow a whoppin' 94 degrees and by Saturday it'll be down to 73...well, it's just that time of year!

Next Thursday/Friday Colt and I will be at the Lakeview County Fair for their stock horse show. And the week after that is our Futurity here in Harney County where Gus gets his debut in his 2 year old halter class and Colt will show in the two-rein. I'm a bit nervous about the two-rein thing, but we worked cows out of the herd last week at the Bell-A in the two-rein, and we did pretty good...it wasn't a wreck! So, we're going to just do the best we can.

Best Friends Forever
Gus and Colt are Best Friends Forever.

Another beautiful, sunny mornin' in SE Oregon...

Water Tank Reflections
Reflections in the water tank.

Feeling Up Side Down?
Feelin' a lil' up side down?

That last photo makes me feel like I'm standing on my head!

I have a list of things to do today that's a mile long...I better get at it instead of playin'!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Stills ~ Metal

~If I have any more children, I'm goin' to be worn out.
Ten is plenty for any woman.~
~Dotty Mandy 1875~

The goal of this week's Sunday Stills photo challenge was to find a subject that no one else would think of. It took all week for me to figure out what it would be...and it's been sitting on my kitchen window sill right in front of me!

A very old, corroded staple.

Originally this was a galvanized staple; usually used in building barbed wire fences. I found it one day while walking in one of the pastures. Our place was homesteaded in the late 1800's...and a lot of changes have happened between then and now. I'm always finding stuff. Nails are always good to find before they get stuck in a horse's hoof!

Zinc oxide, which is a fine white dust, is used on galvanized nails because it does not breakdown the surface of the metal beneath. In addition, the zinc does not destroy the integrity of the galvanized nails. The protective barrier zinc oxide provides on galvanized nails has many advantages. First, it prevents oxidation from occurring. In this way, galvanized nails are highly resistant to rust and corrosion.

Even with the galvanized coating, years of moisture took it's toll on this staple. So, I wonder how long it's been laying in the dirt...probably many, many years!

Check out other "metal" photos by going here and looking through the comments!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

48 Years of Friendship!

 ~You'll learn nothin' if only good things happen to you.~
~Mary C. Clayton 1886~

FaceBook can be a real time wasting machine if you let it, but it has some great benefits too...like hooking up with old friends who you've lost track of!

Take for instance my very best friend beginning in 1962:

My 6th birthday party; Lynda and me...a party of two!
Lynda and her family moved into a house just a couple of miles up the road from us. Our mothers must have thought it was a good idea to get to know each other since their daughters were just one year apart. Lynda and I spent lots of time together. Grade school came and then high school; we were still friends, but lost track of each other a few years after that.

We found each other on FB about a year ago. Lynda asked where we lived, and she asked if it was anywhere close to Seneca...well, in this part of the state, you could say it was just the next town north...only about 1 1/2 hours is all. Well, come to find out, Lynda's mother-in-law lives in Seneca, and they were planning a trip up to Oregon (from LA, CA) and the plan was formed.

48 years of friendship!

Yesterday, Lynda, her husband Dan, daughter Kirsten, and Kirsten's boyfriend James came for a visit and BBQ. There was lots of catching up to do. We figured it was about 20 years since we'd last seen each other. Our mothers kept in close contact with each other until they passed away in 2003 and 2004.

We reminisced about what we remembered about the houses we lived in and some of the adventures...like skinny dippin' in our irrigation pond, floating on the logs and catchin' polliwogs...ahhhh the days when we didn't have a care in the world!

The afternoon and evening went all too quickly...there's more to talk about than I could think of at the time...so, Lynda, remember all the summers of swimming lessons at the Hillsboro pool and going to the Plaid Pantry for slushies and a treat?!?

Well, we're not going to let 20 years pass by before we see each other again!

(we'll probably both still be wearing bangs LOL)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Goof Goes Home

~A cowgirl gets up early in the morning, 
decides what she wants to do,
and does it.~
~Marie Lords 1861~

Goof came to get a job done...and he did...now he's on to greener pastures up in the forest to finish up his year breeding for some fall calves.

Goof & His Momma
Goof is a great big baby says MaryLee.

Goof is Ready to go Home
Goof recognized MaryLee and followed her truck up the driveway...he couldn't wait to get in the trailer!

See Ya Next Year Goof!
Hope we see ya next year Goof!!

We're hoping for heifers next year. I can't tell you all the great stuff about Goof like MaryLee can, but his semen is shipped all over...he has some sort of high quality tender gene...blah, blah, blah...you'll have to ask MaryLee!!

But, he was a pretty good boy while he stayed with us...only took out one fence (green weeds looked really good on the other side of course)! Hopefully, he'll be back next year to do the same job! Can't wait to see these babies in the spring!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

~When I'm dedicated to something, I do it right.~
~Kerry Coal 1892~

Looking Up the Rim Rock

Lookin' up from last week's lookin' down.

See a whole world of Wordless at Wordless Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Show Day~Part 2!

~When I was a girl, I had dreams of becoming a woman.
Now that I'm a woman, I have dreams of becoming a girl.~
~Agnes Mobley 1898~ 

Oops...guess I forgot to mention that there was more to Saturday than just the cutting show!

But, before we get to that, I want to apologize for sounding  like a whiner in yesterday's post. Everyone left such thoughtful and encouraging comments...you are all greatly appreciated! I'm totally pleased with where Colt and I are considering when I started him as a two year old, I didn't know how to teach a horse flying lead changes, do a spin or a sliding stop. I've done all of Colt's training myself...I can't afford to hire a trainer...but that's what makes the whole process so rewarding...looking at what we've accomplished. What I learned yesterday, is that my horse knew which cow I should have taken...HE KNEW! I need to listen to my horse more often!!  Thank you for being such good friends.

OK...on to Part 2...Our Reined Stock Horse Futurity Board asked the High Desert Cutters if they could do a stock horse jackpot after our last cutting, and it all worked out! Our Futurity is September 8-9 and this really helped people find out how their horses were coming along...and we all need all the practice we can get!

It was pretty simple; they just scored on the dry work (reining pattern) and fence work (there weren't enough cattle to do herd work too). The competition was divided into snaffle bit/hackamore horses, bridle horses, and youth. I think they had about 12 entries.

I did a really dumb thing by not checking the memory left on the card that was in the camera...so it died on My Poor Man just as I started my fence work...dang...that was the best part of our whole day!!!

But, here's a lil' bit of the reining pattern and what lil' bit we got in the camera on the cow...

The pattern that they chose had two large fast circles and one small slow circle, change leads in the middle, and then two and one again. Colt is really good at changing leads and tends to anticipate the changes. You see him bobble in the first circle trying to change leads on me...lil' bugger! But he did the other changes nicely, but I could feel him thinking...I just tried to focus him on forward as much as possible.

My sliding stops don't have much slide to them...I'm working on that, but his turn arounds are OK...we just keep working on adding a lil' bit more speed. Our score on the dry work was only 63.

But the fence work, which I didn't have much confidence in at all, turned out great! I got some coaching last Thursday evening when we had herd practice at the Bell-A Ranch...that really helped. The cow I got didn't have a lot of speed, but it sure wanted out of the pen (looking for a way out all the time through the fence). I wanted to work it two more turns in my boxing, but it darted under Colt's neck and headed up the long side of the arena...I thought to myself I'm never gonna get this cow turned...she had just learned how to be disrespectful of us...but we took her up the wall and asked for the turn and she turned!! Yeah!!

OK...now the turn to the left...yep, got'er done!  Then we circled her to the left first and that went well, but when I changed hips on the cow and got about have a right circle done she died...we ran out of cow. I had to do a lot of hollering at that cow to get her to go and it took us two tries to get her to complete the circle to the right...but we got'er done...the whistle blew!

We scored a 67!!

I didn't get to see the judge's sheet, but My Man said the judge kept saying "nice horse" while I was working him...that sure made me feel good!

So, that was our big day...Oh yea...I either got 3rd or 4th and will be getting a check! I like that part!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Penalties: Back Fence & Switching Cattle

~I'm not afraid to do something new.
I learned self-reliance on the ranch.~
~Marion Collins 1903~

Last Saturday was the final cutting for the High Desert Cutters season. I didn't really mean yesterday's post to be a teaser, but I have to say thanks for all of the inquiries about the results!

Colt and I really weren't in the running for an award. If you recall, Colt had his lil' leg injury this spring and we missed the first cutting...so, we just got off to a slow start. But, somehow it always works that way. If the third place person did really bad and I did really good, we might have taken third...but it didn't work out that way.

Here's part of the video that my friend Andi took for me. It shows two penalties that we received...see if you can identify them:

On the first cow I cut, you saw this:

Back Fence penalty: 3 points

When the cow that's been cut gets past the Corner Marker (to the left side of the marker) it's a 3 point penalty. It's pretty obvious...loosing the cow all together would be worse (5 point penalty), but Colt and I just weren't in the right position or quick enough to keep the cow out away from the back fence.

Then on the second cow, to my surprise, the judge penalized me for "Changing cattle after a specific commitment." I was wondering why my score was only a 61.

This lil' move right here made it look like I'd chosen the brindle cow.

You can hear my friends saying "what are you doing?!?"

In my mind I hadn't chosen a cow yet...I was keeping the cows in front of me and I was waiting for the last cow left standing. As the blond cow turned to my right, she was the farthest away from me, and so I chose her...thinking the rest were headed back to the herd.

Loosing another 5 points really hurt...literally...I was in tears when I read the judges sheet. I hadn't slept well the night before, stress, trying to do our best...and just plain emotional. It happens sometimes.

But, I learned a lot from that run...but I still have questions in my mind about how to handle it in the future though.

Colt seemed to have chosen the brindle cow...but I hadn't. Do I need to go with what my horse chooses not me? It seems to be a very fine line. My inexperience got me this time. Input from anyone would be appreciated.

I think we came in 4th overall...and this next year was our 4th year in the same class. Horses get to move up to the next class when they place 1st or 2nd in the class...maybe next year will be our year...but I said that this year...and I said that last year too...

OK...my commitment to myself is to get on the ball this winter with training as much as possible. It's hard without an indoor facility and the wind is blowing the snow sideways...but we have some options. and I've got to take advantage of them. Both Gus and Colt will be shown next year! We've got a lot of work to do!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Stills ~ Smoke and Fire

~How can a woman believe in herself if she gives in all the time.~
~Mae Wilkins 1867~

The Sunday Stills photo challenge this week is "Smoke 'n Fire." I had great plans to get some cool shots during our annual High Desert Cutters BBQ. Our local butcher brings tri-tip and the smoker/BBQ and cooks it right there at the final cutting for our awards finale. But my plans fell through because they cooked it at their shop instead and brought it to us...it's some of the best tasting tri-tip you'll ever eat...but I didn't get the shots!!

So, scrambling this morning, I decided to try some incense...the outcome was disappointing...smoke is hard to photograph!! But I got a lil' bit of flame.

Incense Flame

Hot Ashes

Well, my house smells good if nothing else!!

Check out the other Sunday Stills participants and see what they've "smoked" up!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Playin' on Picnik

~If you have a weakness, make sure you know what it is.~
~Barb White 1906~

Bella Jo

Blogging lets you get to know the most incredible people who you would have never had the chance to meet. Take for instance Maia at Maia's World.

She started an informal tutorial on her blog last March about improving photography skills...and of course that includes photo editing. With the busy summer, I haven't had time to keep up, but I'm trying to catch up!

This morning at sunrise, there was some incredible light and Bella Jo was being her beautiful self. I played with some edits on Picnik...and I love it!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

~I don't need a man to make known my existence.~
~Sharon Ramo 1909~

The Edge of the Rim

Bella Jo is Checkin' Out the Up Draft

Head on over to Wordless Wednesday for more WW fun!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Au "Gus" tus Post

My dear friend Shirley at Ride a Good Horse was hoping for another post about Gus. So, Augustus McCrae gets to have his cute lil' face on today's blog post!!

Hey...Got any Treats?
"I like being in training!"

I've been going pretty slow with Gus, but it's not really on purpose...time is what's keeping me from moving faster with him. Haying got in the way last week, so we're back on track this week...somewhat.

Big Brother, Lil' Brother
Big Brother 'n Lil' Brother..."Do you see what I see?"

I've been working on ground work quite a bit. He had a sticky right side where he'd always prefer me to be on his left, but I've got him where he'll flow through with his shoulder smoothly as he makes a turn to the left to the inside on the line...he kept getting stuck and was insisting that turning around to the right to go left was the correct thing to do. But, we've got that working nicely now.

Then we ride for a few minutes in the round pen; he's doing great! After that, I get Colt saddled and pony Gus...we take a long trot to the other end of the property or a trail ride up the hill...just somewhere out and about with the dogs running etc. I like them to see all the stuff out there before we ride into the wide open spaces.

The Training Saddle
Gus has a lot of growing to catch up with Colt...I hope he doesn't get that tall.

Gus carries the old beater saddle, but it sure looks like he's just a tiny thing as I sit on Colt's back. I sure wouldn't mind it if Gus only grew another 2 inches or so...but I'm sure that's not going to be the case. Somehow I always get tall horses for my 5 foot body!

Learnin' Patience
"Mom says I'm learning patience."

Then it's Colt's turn for a workout in the arena...and Gus gets parked...it's a good patience learning tool. But, I'm anxious for the first ride out with My Man and Whiskey...maybe this weekend...we'll see...

Yesterday, Gus got his hooves trimmed and he was perfect for the farrier. Colt got his "Baby Sliders" put back on...so we're off to try everyone's new hoof wear today!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday Stills ~ Clouds

~There's one thing I can say about women: They smell better than men.~
~Elizabeth West 1877~

This week's Sunday Stills photo challenge is one we've done before, but clouds are always fun to photograph! This time of year we get thunderstorms coming through in the late afternoon...usually right around 5PM when it's time to move the wheel lines...at which time I get the heck out of the field~My Man's friend told him a story about the time he saw lightening hit a wheel line and the current bounced right down the line from wheel to wheel...really freaky!

The first photo was taken last weekend before the challenge was announced...I just liked how the clouds lay parallel to the rim.

Cloud Lined Rim
A Cloud-lined Rim at Sunset.

These next photos are from the storm that came through on Wednesday afternoon.

Thunderstorm Gathers
Storm clouds gather to the south.

Thunderheads to the North
Thunder heads begin forming to the north.

Sheets of Rain in Anderson Valley
To the east thunder, lightening, and sheets of rain begin coming down...as I'm still in the sunshine...just for a lil' bit.

Within a half an hour the wind kicked up with huge gusts and a driving rain...it lasted for about 20 minutes. Luckily for us, all our hay was baled and stacked off the field...not so lucky for Hay Man Rudy...the winds blew his windrows all apart and he had to re-rake them...which looses leaves off the alfalfa...meaning loss of $$. Such is farming~

Check out more "cloud" photos from around the country and world by going HERE!!